by David P. Greisman
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City - It wasn’t pretty at all, but Thomas Dulorme got the result he needed — a unanimous decision win over fellow junior-welterweight contender Karim Mayfield, a victory that Dulorme’s team hopes will land him a shot at 140-pound titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov this June, or at least another appearance on HBO.
The scores were 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94.
Dulorme was just 22 years old when he suffered an upset loss to tough welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu in October 2012. That led to a gradual drop down to the 140-pound division, with Dulorme weighing in at 143 pounds, 144, then 141 and 142 pounds in his next four appearances. All of those were wins, leading the now-24-year-old into this fight with Mayfield, a 33-year-old whose best win was an October 2012 decision over Mauricio Herrera.
Dulorme used distance and his speed well in the opening round, moving away before Mayfield could throw, and landing a left hook over Mayfield’s right hand. The left hook landed a couple more times for Dulorme, though Mayfield also was able to land a couple of good punches during a pair of Dulorme’s own approaches.
Dulorme briefly turned southpaw in the third round and got caught with a good right hand from Mayfield. Toward the end of the round, Mayfield threw a few chopping right hands, and then Dulorme landed a left hook at the bell. It was a moment that could’ve led to some extracurricular ugliness, given the brawl that had occurred at Friday’s weigh-in after Mayfield leaned his head down to Dulorme’s chest and neck, and Dulorme then grabbed Mayfield’s neck.
Instead, they touched gloves and went to their respective corners. The ugliness would come soon, and in a different form.
Beginning in the fourth, the fight broke down into a bunch of clinching and holding, a tactic that Mayfield has been criticized for in the past, but one that Dulorme was also to blame for in this bout, something he turned to due to Mayfield’s awkward approaches and smothering movement.
It was no surprise, then, that heads clashed. Dulorme suffered a cut on the left side of his head in the seventh round. And in the eighth, Dulorme landed a pair of low blows on Mayfield, with referee Steve Smoger indicating that Mayfield had been pushing down on Dulorme’s head.
The CompuBox statistics provided a good glimpse into the lack of effective offense in this fight, both in quantity and quality. Mayfield averaged just 28 punches per round and Dulorme 30, half of the division average of 60.3.
Mayfield was credited with landing just 61 of 284 punches on the night, a 21 percent connect rate, and about 6 punches landed per round. In terms of power shots, he was 36 of 169, also just 21 percent. Dulorme, meanwhile, was credited with going 83 of 308 on the night, a 27 percent connect rate, and about 8 punches landed per round. Of those, he was 49 of 135 with power shots, a 36 percent connect rate.
Dulorme, of Carolina, Purto Rico, is now 21-1 (14 KOs).
“I thought he was much improved,” said Gary Shaw, Dulorme’s promoter, immediately afterward. “His movement was improved. Good jab. He fought smart. I would’ve liked him to throw more body punches.”
Mayfield, 33, of San Francisco, is now 18-1-1 (11 KOs). The draw was a technical draw much earlier in his career.
“I thought I fought a good fight,” Mayfield said afterward. “It could’ve gone either way. He was the better man tonight and I take my hat off to him. The low blows hurt a little bit, but I can’t use that as an excuse. I was OK after the breather.”
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